The board of directors of Gulf Coast Authority has appointed Elizabeth Fazio Hale to succeed Lori Traweek as general manager and chief executive officer, effective Nov. 16. Fazio Hale joined GCA last year as assistant general manager, bringing an extensive background in legal, legislative and financial matters related to water and wastewater management. Traweek will be retiring after 27 years with the organization.
“GCA has benefited from the fast-paced, yet deliberate, leadership of Lori,” said Board Chairman Frank Jones. “Her executive service caps a work record that covers nearly three decades of environmental and economic development leadership along the Gulf Coast and in West Texas. GCA is better today because of her strategic capabilities, including the recruitment of her successor, Liz Fazio Hale. On behalf of the entire board and the Authority, I wish Lori a fulfilling retirement and congratulate Liz on her promotion.”
Traweek joined the Authority in 1992 as regulatory compliance coordinator and then served in several management positions, most notably as chief operating officer for 17 years. She was promoted to chief executive office/general manager in 2017. Previous to GCA, she was involved in the management of several biomonitoring laboratories in both Louisiana and Texas, including regional manager for Bioaquatic Testing immediately prior to joining GCA. Traweek studied marine biology at Louisiana State University and, after moving to Lafayette, graduated from the University of Southwestern Louisiana with a Bachelor of Science in Aquatic and Fisheries Management.
“GCA is such an amazing organization and I am so proud to have been part of it and its mission to protect the waters of Texas,” said Traweek. “While I am looking forward to retirement, I will miss the work, our customers, our communities, and, most of all, my GCA family.”
She will continue her commitment of service as board chair of the Galveston Bay Foundation and as a member of the board of directors of Texas Water Trade.
Fazio Hale will be leading GCA into its next 50 years of wastewater and water management. “I love to tell the GCA story to those who are seeking success stories about public-private partnerships in Texas,” said Fazio Hale. “As general manager for the Authority, I will seek to honor the 50 years of excellent history in our organization, respect the experience of our accomplished staff, and live up to the faith that the Board has placed in me to carry on a highly respectable reputation for providing services to protect and support our natural resources.”
Prior to joining GCA Fazio Hale served as the executive director/CEO of Riverbend Water Resources District in New Boston, Texas, and managed the regional water and wastewater operations for 12 municipalities, three counties and an industrial park in Northeast Texas. Previously, she spent more than 10 years at the Texas House of Representatives, including as director of natural resources and in roles with several other committees. In the private sector, Fazio Hale practiced law and was a tax consultant at KPMG, LLM in Denver. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Bachelor of Science in Communications from The University of Texas at Austin, as well as a Juris Doctor and legal master’s degrees from the University of Denver. She serves as a member of the board of directors for the Texas Water Foundation; secretary for the Gulf Coast Industrial Development Authority; treasurer for the Texas Conservation Fund; member of the Galveston Bay Council; member of the Economic Alliance – Houston Port Region’s legislative committee; and member of the Economic Development Alliance for Brazoria County.
Gulf Coast Authority (www.gcatx.org) was created by the Texas Legislature in 1969 to protect the waters of the state of Texas through environmentally sound, economically feasible, and technologically advanced wastewater and water management practices. GCA provides regional industrial and municipal wastewater treatment services, solid waste management, industrial water services, and financial services – all with the goal to protect the environment, preserve water resources and promote industrial development for a strong economy.